Police swiftly ended 2018 St.Petersburg Pride attempt
While number of European cities enjoy massive Pride parades this sunny Saturday, 4th of August 2018, to support equality and human rights, authorities in St.Petersburg, Russia, have been literally what seems to be on stakeout to arrest people who came to express their free will.
Thanks to the contacts and facebook live postings of the organisers of St.Petersburg Pride, even when arrested and in custody, we know now that today's peaceful attempt was abruptly brought to an end when one of the activists started to give an interview to a journalist. Suddenly, police forces that were nearby, started actively and brutally arresting participants (and few innocent bystanders likewise) who stood at least 50m apart in small groups, not marching, not chanting, not even waving rainbow flags that were taken along - such an arrangement was required to comply with legal requirements in order not to be charged organising an illegal unwarranted demonstration.
Namely, St.Petersburg authorities had this year systematically denied and bureaucratically hindered the process of actually getting the demonstration performed legally, all applications by activists were denied.
More than 25 people were taken into custody and driven into 4-5 different police stations. First of the arrested have been released by now, we expect the same to happen with most if not all of the activists. According to reports all have been charged.
St.Petersburg Pride has been taking place for few years now, in early August, either first or second Saturday of the month. All legally, registered, by approved application, yet never without problems - previous years almost exclusively from public opponents of equal rights. This year, in a strange twist, it has been the authorities (the state) itself that has shown despicably discriminatory behaviour.
Tallinn Bearty condemns and opposes strongly to the brutal and excessive use of police force, just like discrimiinatory limitation of peoples right to gather freely.